Ministry and theology… like a ninja.

Why the ministry ninja?

Here’s the question everyone has been asking.

Why should people in ministry be like ninjas?

It is of course an excellent question, one that deserves an excellent answer.

In starting this blog I obsessed for hours about what I would call it.  I came up with several ideas.  All of them were totally lame and do not even deserve to be mentioned here.  Eventually I decided on Ministry Ninja.  For several reasons.

  1. Ninjas are cool
  2. I do in fact (seriously) study Ninjutsu (or Ninjitsu) which is totally the martial art of the ninja.  I promise.  Wikipedia it.
  3. Ninjas are better than pirates.

Ok but now for the serious reasons, and the answer to the question “why should people in ministry be like ninjas?”

Firstly, ninjas are committed to  their mission.  There’s no mucking around with ninjas.  They are intent on their mission objective and won’t be easily dissuaded from achieving their objectives.

In ministry we cannot be put off, easily distracted or dejected about our mission.  We must learn to persevere, to roll with the punches, and to keep going no matter what.  (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

Secondly, ninjas are highly trained.  Ninjas were trained specifically for the role of infiltration and espionage.  Such were their skills that they have come down through history almost as mythological beings due to their almost unbelievable skills.  This did not come about overnight, but resulted from long years of hard work and training in order to excel.  This was done not merely for its own sake, but so that they might better be equipped to finish their missions.

Similarly, those in ministry must be prepared to put in the hard yards of training.  I cannot overemphasize enough how important it is for us to train and be trained, no matter what stage of life we are in.  If the hard work is put in, then we will be so much better equipped to do the work of spreading the gospel.  Do an internship or traineeship.  Enrol in Bible college.  Do it by distance if you have to.  Get involved in Christian Union.  Do whatever you have to do to get good solid Biblical training.  (1 Tim. 4:6-8)

Thirdly, and most relevant to this blog, ninjas were highly skilled in many different areas.   The art of ninjitsu requires proficiency in unarmed combat, armed combat (with a huge variety of weapons), stealth, disguise, impersonation, pyrotechnics, espionage, horsemanship, geography and even meteorology!  In short, anything that could conceivably help them in their mission.

I have occasionally come across some people who have the impression that in order to do ministry, all they need to be trained in is the Bible and theology.  Now don’t get me wrong, these two areas are surely among the most important to a long and fruit-filled ministry life.  But to be truly effective, I think we need to go broad.  Study practical ministry, history, art, science, literature, popular culture, sport,  counselling, the internet, technology… whatever you can get your hands on!  After all, ministry is mostly about people, and people are incredibly varied and diverse beings.  So get interested in whatever people are interested in!  Learn to do a back flip if you think it will help on beach missions.  Learn a martial art if you know 5 non-Christian guys who are into MMA!  Learn some mandarin so that you can relate better to the local Chinese community.  Try something which is totally out of your comfort zone for the sake of the gospel.

This blog will be often about what I have learned at Bible college.  I certainly will be posting on various theological and Biblical ideas, as God grows and develops my own spiritual foundation.  But in addition to this I am looking forward to sharing all the things I learn about a million other areas of life that will hopefully help on this incredible mission given to us by our Sensei Jesus.



3 responses

  1. Brett

    January 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm

  2. I wouldn’t have thought an explanation necessary. But this’ll do.

    The penultimate paragraph in this post is spectacular.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

  3. Devan

    It was too long, so I didn’t read any of it. There are other Christian Ninjas out there though…

    February 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

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